If all you’ve got is a short time to visit Venice, you probably want your hotel to be as close to the main sights as possible. The problem with that idea is that in Venice that often means paying through the nose for a hotel room. Luckily for you, however, there’s another option – the Hotel Astoria is only a minute’s walk from St. Mark’s Square (provided the crowds don’t keep you standing still), and it’s so reasonably priced you might wonder what the catch is.
Well, with Hotel Astoria, the only catch is that the seriously low prices are only good during the low season. Come in the high season and you’ll pay less here than some other hotels in the area, but even a single without an en suite bathroom can cost as much as €105 in the high season. But if you’re visiting during the low season, this hotel is really a great deal.
Hotel Astoria isn’t fancy – there isn’t an elevator, for instance, and the breakfast (which is included) is pretty minimal (cereal, juice, brewed coffee, some yogurt and pre-packaged croissants) – but budget travelers don’t expect fancy anyway. What you can expect at the Hotel Astoria is a clean and safe place to stay just a few minutes from the Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square. The building itself has character, and the staff is helpful – they all speak at least a little English.
The Hotel Astoria was my home during my last trip to Venice, and I had a cozy room on the top floor of the secondary wing of the hotel (the main staircase leads up from reception, the stairwell to my room was on the other side of the adjacent breakfast room), which turned out to be the fifth floor. It was a cozy single room with an en suite bathroom, TV and telephone, and because it was on the top floor and the only room up there, it was incredibly quiet. For a hotel that’s so close to some of the main tourist thoroughfares, that’s saying something. And I mentioned that the hotel has character – the ceiling in my room even had exposed beams, which always makes a space feel homey to me, so I was happy.
L-R: My single room, my en suite bathroom
The hotel’s front door gets locked at 01:00 every night, but there is a doorbell if you happen to get back later than that. Of course, because Venice is a city without a nightlife to speak of, you may not have any trouble getting back to the hotel before the door gets locked! Also, with only 24 rooms, I’m told that the hotel gets booked up quickly and is almost always full. The Hotel Astoria is also one hotel which appears in the Rick Steves guidebook, so that’s going to make it popular as well. If this is the place you want to stay, reserve a room early.
L-R: Hotel Astoria’s front door, breakfast room
Address: Calle Fiubera 951 San Marco
Contact Information: tel. 041 522 5381; fax 041 528 8981
Rates: (depending on season)
Single room (without bathroom) €45-105
Single room (with bathroom) €55-125
Double room (with bathroom) €105-190
Breakfast, taxes & service included in the above prices
Booking: Hotel Astoria booking
Payment Accepted: Visa, American Express, JCB, Diners
Check-in/Check-out: Check-in after 14:00, check-out before 10:00 (you can leave your baggage with the front desk if you need to check out and still want to explore the city before leaving)